By: Andrea Green
Running to me has become a form of meditation. A place that I get to unplug from the fast world around us and focus solely on my next step, the next mile, and the beautiful Truckee views along the way. The crisp mountain air fills my lungs. I never run all that fast but I am now going further into the mountains than I ever thought running would take me. My running goals are becoming longer, higher, and more rugged. As I increase my endurance, my gear needs to follow suit. I can’t just grab a pair of gym shorts and an old cut up tee shirt anymore. I need durable, lightweight gear that will help me reach my ever growing goals.
Enter: Dynafit Trail Running Kit
My new kit has become the driving force behind pushing me further into these mountains, helping me crush goals I never thought possible with running. With each stride, this gear has become my trusted ally, combining performance, style, and a whole lot of trail-running wizardry. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty.
I recently had the opportunity to test out the Dynafit Ultra 100 trail running shoes and I must say that these shoes are a fantastic choice for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hitting the trails. With their impressive features and performance, they exceeded my expectations in every way.
First and foremost, the fit of the Dynafit Ultra 100 shoes was so comfortable. As someone with size 8 feet, I found that these shoes run a little small and you should size up half a size. These shoes allow for ample toe room (I have semi wide feet) while still providing a secure and supportive feel. The shoes hugged my feet in all the right places, minimizing the chance of discomfort or blisters during long trail runs.
One of the standout features was their exceptional traction. Equipped with a robust outsole, these shoes provided excellent grip on the various terrains of the Sierra. Whether I was navigating steep ascents, tackling rocky descents, or running on muddy trails after one of our unique rain storms this spring, I always felt confident in my footing. This aspect is super important to me having injured both my ankles numerous times, including multiple surgeries. The multidirectional lugs on the outsole offered reliable traction and prevented slips, ensuring a stable and safe running experience.
Additionally, these shoes impressed me with their durability. The running shoes were constructed with high-quality materials that could withstand the rigors of trail running. I would say they have even held up slightly better than my On Running Cloudventures. The reinforced toe cap and protective overlays added an extra layer of protection against rocks and roots, preventing any potential damage to the shoes. Even after numerous trail runs, these shoes showed minimal signs of wear and tear, demonstrating their long-lasting quality.
Furthermore, they excelled in terms of breathability. The upper mesh allowed for optimal airflow, keeping my feet cool and preventing excessive sweating. This feature was especially appreciated during hot and humid weather we have had this July, as it contributed to a comfortable and dry running experience. The breathability of the shoes also helped in quick moisture evaporation, reducing the chances of discomfort caused by wet feet.
The cushioning provided by the Dynafit Ultra 100 shoes was another highlight for me. The midsole incorporated responsive and lightweight foam, offering a balance of comfort and support. This cushioning technology helped to absorb impact during landings, reducing strain on my joints and muscles. Whether I was running on rocky terrain or uneven surfaces, the cushioning provided a smooth and responsive ride, enhancing overall comfort and stability.
Lastly, we can’t forget the bright colors and stylish design! The sleek and modern design, combined with vibrant colors, added a touch of flair to my running gear. The shoes were lightweight, contributing to a nimble and agile feel on the trails without sacrificing durability or protection and making me feel like I could *just keep running* (said in a Dori voice from Finding Nemo).
Overall, I would definitely say these have become my favorite running shoe compared to the On Cloudventures, which are a bit more stiff and more narrow, and the Saucony PEREGRINE ICE+ 2, which were much too cushioned for trail running, the Dynafit Ultra 100 trail running shoes are just right. They are an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking performance and comfort. With their superior fit, traction, durability, breathability, cushioning, and stylish design, these shoes are sure to elevate your trail running experience.
Not only did Dynafit kit me with new shoes but they also gave me the Alpine 8 Trail Running Vest to test out on some of my longer runs. I must say that this gear is an essential companion for outdoor enthusiasts tackling longer trails. With its impressive features and functionality, the Alpine 8 vest proved to be a game-changer for my trail running adventures and allowed me (and my dog) to run much further and with more ease.
First and foremost, the Alpine 8 trail running vest excels in terms of storage capacity. The vest is equipped with multiple pockets, including front zippered pockets, stretch mesh pockets, and even a dedicated hydration bladder compartment. These pockets allowed me to easily carry and organize all the essentials for my runs, such as two water bottles, yummy snacks, keys, phone, and even extra layers of clothing, which was especially helpful with the rainy spring we had this year. The thoughtful placement of the pockets ensured quick and convenient access to my gear, allowing me to stay focused on the trails.
One of the standout features of the vest for me is its fit. I was a bit worried about this before I used it because I am on the larger bra size but also have a short torso. For reference, I am 5’4, 145lbs and bought the M/L due to the fit around my boobs. I was immediately proved wrong on my first 8 mile run. It really does feel like this vest was made specifically for me. The vest is adjustable and designed to conform to any body, providing a secure and customized fit. The adjustable straps allowed me to fine-tune the fit according to my body shape and size, ensuring stability and preventing any bouncing or chafing during my runs. The breathable mesh construction of the vest provided excellent ventilation, preventing overheating and keeping me comfortable even during my super intense 12 minute miles. ha!
Additionally, the Alpine 8 trail running vest is constructed with durable and lightweight materials. The vest is built to withstand the demands of trail running in rugged environments. The abrasion-resistant fabrics and reinforced stitching ensured long-lasting durability, even when navigating through dense vegetation or brushing against rocks and branches, which was tested thoroughly. The lightweight design of the vest added minimal weight to my overall gear setup, allowing for unrestricted movement and freedom on the trails. It barely felt like I was wearing extra weight at all, even with both hydration bladders full.
There are just so many features to this running vest! It is hydration-compatible, which is a crucial feature for endurance trail running in the Truckee-Tahoe area during the summer months. It also incorporates reflective details, enhancing visibility and safety during low-light conditions. And just like with the matching Dynafit shoes, the design is sleek and streamlined. It has a minimalist aesthetic, which compliments my style so well. The unisex design and adjustable sizing options ensure a comfortable fit for both men and women, making it a versatile choice for trail runners who like to go the distance.
The Women’s Dynafit Sky running shorts are a great overall fit and feel. These shorts are lightweight and breathable, allowing for unrestricted movement and efficient moisture-wicking during the more intense runs. The medium size fits true to size, providing a comfortable and secure fit. With a durable construction and a stretchy waistband, these shorts offer excellent durability and flexibility. The zippered back pocket provides convenient storage for small essentials, like a key, during short runs. The mesh liner keeps the shorts feeling snug and breathable, as well as a customizable waist cinch. I tend to like more high waisted, thick waist banded shorts and pants and even though these shorts do not have those features, they still are an amazing fit and make me feel stylish while on the trail.
The Dynafit Sky Women's Short Sleeve Tee is a fantastic choice for any female runner seeking a comfortable and performance-driven shirt, while feeling sleek and stylish. Constructed with high-quality materials, this shirt offers excellent breathability and moisture-wicking properties, keeping you cool and dry. The medium size provides a perfect fit. It hugs me in all the right places but isn’t too tight. With its durable construction, this shirt is built to withstand the demands of trail running and has easily become my go-to option for trail runs and hikes.
Okay, I am just going to touch on some of the cool features of this hat, but I hate to say this is not my favorite fitting hat. It was very small and tight on my head. That being said, I am VERY picky about my hats and usually do not like running in hats overall. I feel like hats are similar to sunglasses - some styles look better on some people, and other styles on other people. There isn’t one hat to rule them all, and this one was not ruling my runs.
The Dynafit Transalper Cap features a mesh top for lightweight and breathable construction, allowing for optimal airflow and comfort during hot trail runs. The adjustable strap gives you a more personalized fit around the head. The curved brim provides protection from the sun. Its moisture-wicking properties and quick-drying fabric makes it a great hat for trail running.
With each adventure, my kit continuously proves its worth, tirelessly increasing my potential and amplifying the joy of running amidst nature's breathtaking wonders. The mountains are calling, and I'm ready to answer their call, ever eager to explore, grow, and run wild with my Dynafit kit leading the way.
TO BE CONTINUED: Sugarbowl to Palisades, 18.7 mile run/hike, 4500 ft of elevation gain, goal is to complete by October of 2023
Also, stop in from 7/23 - 8/4 to take a pair of Dynafit's on a test run, for free!
Drea's favorite adventures always include her dog, Chip the Rip. Together they splitboard, mountain bike, backpack, camp, run, and love traveling. Drea loves encouraging people to get outside and adventure!